Salem Express

Top Dive Sites in Safaga, Egypt - Red Sea

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Salem Express

Salem Express

The Salem Express, dubbed "Fred Scamaroni" at its launch, had a tragic end that will long remain in the memories of dozens of Egyptian families. Bought by the Egyptian government in 1991, it ensured a link-- mainly for pilgrims going to Mecca-- between Port Jeddah (in Saudi Arabia) and Port Safaga (in Egypt). On December 16th 1991, just before arriving at Safaga, it hit a reef. The impact caused the front door to open and the boat sank in 20 minutes. 650 passengers, 72 crew members, and 578 passengers were on board. This tragedy officially claimed the lives of 470 people, with only 180 survivors. For religious reasons, the wreck-site now is considered a burial site. Out of respect for the victims, entrance inside the wreck is strictly prohibited.
 
 It is highly advisable to start exploring the wreck by the stern, with its propeller and rudder, which lies at a depth of 26 meters. The sizes of the tubular sponges that grip it are very impressive, considering the age of the wreck. As the hull provides little interest to divers, it is best to explore from the bridge to the bow. Along the way you’ll find bollards and winches, a restaurant that can be seen through a door, two chimneys each bearing the letter "S”, and the lookout post that monitored the cockpit. In the back you’ll find lifeboats as well as a pile of sheet metal where a school of Lutjanus Kasmira-- bluestripe snapper or blue-line snapper-- like to frequent. Arriving at the bow, all that’s left is to go back up the hull through18 meters of water. This is where the impact was. You can see the opening of the front door as well as the anchor position. To complete the dive, simply pull yourself up the port side along the passageways. Maybe you will have the chance to meet the caretaker of Salem, a large Javanese moray, and for those with sharp eyes, the crocodile fish!
The Salem Express, dubbed "Fred Scamaroni" at its launch, had a tragic end that will long remain in the memories of dozens of Egyptian families. Bought by the Egyptian government in 1991, it ensured a link-- mainly for pilgrims going to Mecca-- between Port Jeddah (in Saudi Arabia) and Port Safaga (in Egypt). On December 16th 1991, just before arriving at Safaga, it hit a reef. The impact caused the front door to open and the boat sank in 20 minutes. 650 passengers, 72 crew members, and 578 passengers were on board. This tragedy officially claimed the lives of 470 people, with only 180 survivors. For religious reasons, the wreck-site now is considered a burial site. Out of respect for the victims, entrance inside the wreck is strictly prohibited.
 
 It is highly advisable to start exploring the wreck by the stern, with its propeller and rudder, which lies at a depth of 26 meters. The sizes of the tubular sponges that grip it are very impressive, considering the age of the wreck. As the hull provides little interest to divers, it is best to explore from the bridge to the bow. Along the way you’ll find bollards and winches, a restaurant that can be seen through a door, two chimneys each bearing the letter "S”, and the lookout post that monitored the cockpit. In the back you’ll find lifeboats as well as a pile of sheet metal where a school of Lutjanus Kasmira-- bluestripe snapper or blue-line snapper-- like to frequent. Arriving at the bow, all that’s left is to go back up the hull through18 meters of water. This is where the impact was. You can see the opening of the front door as well as the anchor position. To complete the dive, simply pull yourself up the port side along the passageways. Maybe you will have the chance to meet the caretaker of Salem, a large Javanese moray, and for those with sharp eyes, the crocodile fish!
The Salem Express, dubbed "Fred Scamaroni" at its launch, had a tragic end that will long ...

Other information

Depth
  • Maximum 30
  • Maximum 40
Fauna
  • Moray eels

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Salem Express